The Lost

WHERE was I? WHAT was my purpose here? WHEN did this happen? WHY did this happen? I couldn't remember anything- my life was a strange blur. I was alone in a strange land with no idea what was going on. Alone, at least, until a strange man with a staff threw me into a war I couldn't even start to understand.

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1. Chapter 1- Xanadu

Chapter one- Xanadu

The world flashed and morphed brightly back into perspective around me as I was thrown onto my back by some incredible invisible force, my spine cracking painfully as I landed on the cold hard ground. Rubbing my eyes with my fists I groped around me in the low silvery light provided by the moon, trying to make sense of the strange occurrences that had just, quite literally, thrown my life into a completely new situation.

I panicked- what was going on! One second ago I was at home in Lindisfarne, England, and now I was- good point. Where actually was I?

My brain reeled as I tried desperately to clutch onto my memories and remember how this had came to be; I just couldn't put my finger on why I was actually here- how did I get here? Where actually was here? Groggily running my grubby fingers through my greasy hair in exasperation I finally took the time to examine my current environment- which was hard as it was apparently night time here, and therefore rather dark. The air was bitterly cold, and so I crossed my arms across my chest. I was wearing only a thin blue T-shirt and a pair of skinny jeans.

I pushed myself up from my position on the ground where I was laid resting on my elbows, and got up onto my feet rather awkwardly due to my tiredness and aching back.

"Where am I?" I murmured to myself, furrowing my eyebrows in both confusion and awe as I picked the pieces of grass that had indented in to the skin on my elbows due to the pressure of my whole body weight.

Only now where my feet solidly resting on the ground did I realise that they were lacking in any form of shoe. Soft lush blades of grass tickled the bottom of my skin, getting between my toes that I watched in amazement, for they had completely changed colour; my once pale and sickly feet had now changed so that they softly glowed a pale purple with a small pulsing aura surrounding them. My hands, now that I had taken the time to look at them too, we're also alight with the same colour. My hair blew around me- and I was, to say the least, shocked that it too was burgundy when it had been auburn just a few, what, hours ago? Minutes ago? Seconds ago? I seemed to have lost all track of time.

Feeling a soft breeze on the back of my neck tickling at the tiny hairs that lived there, I spun around. Never before had my breath been taken from me like I witnessed at that very moment- I felt positively winded just looking at it. It truly was incredible to say the very least.

A huge, thick, twisting willow tree boldly dominated the vast skyline that whittled off slowly into snow topped mountain ranges and thick dense forests stretching as far as the naked eye could possibly see. The jagged mountains sliced up the few clouds that floated in the blackness, the forests gathered at the base of them, forming a sea of dark tree tops. The bright full moon sat eerily in the very centre of the whole landscape, completely isolated in the darkened sky apart from the odd twinkling star dotted here and there. My favourite of all though, the thing that stays etched in my memory through all of these years, was the lake.

A huge black silky cloth, the lake was the main focal point that made the rest of the place feel so magical- which was quite an achievement when you saw the rest of the landscape. Each feature could easily have stood on their own and still have seemed surreal, but something about the addition of the lake brought out the essence of the place as a whole.

Every ripple seemed alive with sorcery- every drop of water seemed to buzz with witchcraft.

Small yellow fireflies circled and danced together over the surface, glittering and skimming the water's edge; they were like the fairies in the children's books I had read when I was younger. Reeds and small delicate water Lilies grew and twisted elaborately around near the banks, winding and congregated as though they were dancing a waltz under the low light of the moon. It was like something from a dream, or perhaps a fantasy story.

Maybe that's what it was- a dream. Who knows? All I knew there and then was that at that moment I was content and completely caught up in the majesty of my new world- too caught up to notice that I was being watched, and the person that was watching me could be recognised as neither friend nor foe at that moment in time.

For behind the bark of one of the solitary oaks to the right of my shoulder stood a man dressed in nothing but a small white diaper like toga that wrapped around his lower torso. In his hand he grasped a staff, on top of which a small purple ball of fire rested, the same colour as my skin and hair had become. He leant almost lazily against the rough bark of the trunk, watching my every move with an eager eye and picking at his tooth with a long pointed finger. I of course, being mesmerised by the physiognomy of the place, neglected to realise that he was there, or even that, at that moment, he had moved from the tree and was making his way silently over to me with a knife gripped in his tightly clenched fist.

Then, stepping on a rogue stick that had no doubt fallen from a neighbouring tree, he alerted me of his whereabouts with a sinister snap. He cursed into the air as I span around to face the intruder in my new found xanadu.

"Shush..." He whispered, clamping a clammy hand over my mouth in order to silence my inevitably oncoming screams. "Now, I'm going to take my hand away- and you're not going to scream, are you?" He asked my in a slightly patronising way in his deep husky voice.

My heart hammered violently in my chest as I frantically tried to work out whether this stranger was friendly or not. He hadn't actually hurt me...yet. But if he wasn't intending on harming me in any way or form, why was he wielding and extremely vicious looking weapon? More importantly, why was he sneaking up on me in the first place?

Not wanting to anger him, as he obviously had the upper hand in this scenario, and noticing that he was pressed for an answer, I nodded my head quickly.

"Then we must go."

He grabbed me roughly by the top of my arm and started to drag me north- westerly towards the opening between two trees. I wanted to ask where we were going, but sometimes it's a lot easier to hold your tongue- I mean, I still wasn't entirely sure on where we were or whether or not I was safe with this stranger. I put out the remaining arm I still had control of in front of me to prevent the branches of the trees I was being dragged through from scratching at my face as they grabbed at me from the shadows.

Once through the endless amounts of trees that seemed to just pop up from the ground as we got to them, we (me and my captor) came to a clearing.

The grass was greener than before, and small dotted toadstools congregated at different points in the hollow. Nothing else resided there except one single boulder in the middle of the area.

The large grey rock had sharp points and was jagged all over- it was just a typical rock. Moss grew and crawled up the sides of it, the green prominent amongst the otherwise grey patched of stone. It didn't seem to serve any other purpose than to just stand in the clearing.

For a split second anyway.

My 'kidnapper' strode over to the boulder and tapped the sharpest, upmost point on it with the end on which was the purple fire, muttering an indistinguishable incantation whilst doing so.

At once the whole rock started to glow with burgundy fire, almost blinding me with its incredibly strong light. The whole forest was suddenly alight around me, the toadstools seemed to whimper and shy away, and the trees almost groaned with distaste at the thought of us disturbing their slumber.

"Come on." He ordered.

The man once again took up dragging my arm towards a seam that was now ever growing in the side of the rock face, stemming from the point that which the staff had touched. The opening was still growing as we gathered speed and got ever closer. I was convinced we wouldn't make it, and prepared myself for the impact that would surely come. Surprisingly, by the time we reached the rock, the seam was now wide enough for us to enter the rock itself- I had absolutely no idea what was going on (as per usual just lately) or where on earth I was going. Or whether I even was on earth.

What was in there?

My imagination started to take over my mind, eating slowly at the small amount of sanity I had left. Was there going to be some secret torture chamber with various instruments that would be used to extract information from my mind? Was the man an Alien- was he going to probe me in his Alien coven and then throw my limp and lifeless body to the mercy of his alien hellhounds?

I was once again pulled from my thoughts with a rough pinch to the top of my arm as I was dragged forwards.

We walked down a surprisingly long corridor within the boulder. The walls were made of large stone bricks (which made sense come to think of it) and blazing torch brackets lined the passage.

Just before we reached a large oak door that sat solidly at the end of the hallway, the man turned back to face me with a studying glare.

"Welcome," He growled in his deep voice, the corner of his mouth twitching up into what could be a sick, twisted smile, "to the Coven of the Craliax."

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